Beijing, Dec 13 (EFE).- China was continuing to prepare for the uptick of Covid-19 infections, not yet reflected in official statistics, increasing spaces in health centers to treat patients with fever while replenishing medicines before cases increase.
In Beijing, its nearly 350 community health service centers have set up areas to treat patients with fever at a time when “the explosion of cases is putting great pressure on medical services,” local authorities said Monday night after the country relaxed its strict “zero Covid-19,” in place from 2020.
“The rapid development of the pandemic has exerted great pressure on medical services in the short term,” Beijing Municipal Health Commission Deputy Director Li Ang told local press.
Li also urged residents of the capital to go to the centers only if they do not improve after receiving treatment at home.
According to the official, the clinics that treat cases of fever received 22,000 people last Sunday, 16 times more than the previous week, adding that the occupancy rate of hospital beds decreased from 66.7 percent Thursday to 59 percent Sunday.
He also said emergency calls have increased in recent days, peaking Friday, when 31,000 calls were answered, six times more than usual.
To cope with the growing number of patients, Li said the capital would expand the number of fever clinics from 94 to 303 and expand the coordination staff for emergency calls.
Meanwhile, residents continue to buy antigen kits and medicines to treat themselves at home, prompting officials to ask the public to buy medicines “only when necessary.”
China maintained the downward trend in Covid-19 infections with 7,679 cases reported the day before, of which 5,364 are asymptomatic.
In recent days, many cities have closed a good percentage of the PCR sampling booths and reduced the frequency with which they test the population, which could translate into finding fewer positives.
In recent days, the official press began minimizing the risk of the omicron variant through numerous articles and interviews with experts, a turn of argument that accompanies the relaxation of some of the strictest Covid-19 measures.
Authorities said “conditions” are in place for the country to “adjust” its measures in this “new situation” in which the virus causes fewer deaths, although they have also announced a plan to speed up vaccination of the elderly, one of the most vulnerable groups but at the same time more reluctant to be inoculated.
China announced last week that it would allow those infected with asymptomatic or mild symptoms to isolate at home – until now, transfer to a quarantine center was mandatory – and said it would no longer demand a negative Covid-19 test to enter most establishments, except hospitals or schools.
The changes came after the weariness of restrictions crystallized in protests in various parts of the country after the death of 10 people in an apparently confined building in Urumqi with slogans such as “I don’t want PCR, I want to eat” or “give me back my freedom.” EFE